10 Best Stir Plates for Yeast Starters (2019)
Irrespective of your experience in home brewing, dealing with yeast is a quest you will not avoid. Both newbies and experienced masters of the malt need yeast to craft perfect home beers. In most cases, home brewers like starting out with store bought yeast, but as they become more experienced in home brewing, going to the store to get yeast becomes less appealing, and this is when the urge to make yeast becomes apparent. This is when you will need a yeast starter which you will use with fresh or recovered yeast.
If you are at a point where you are considering making your own yeast, one of the arsenals you will have to include in your home brewing kit is a yeast starter stir plate. It is imperative that you learn how to choose the right stir plate because it will have a direct impact on the health and the quality of the yeast. With a good stir plate for yeast starters, you will manage to have quality yeast, which will, in turn, make you have a high-quality beer. Additionally, you will have the versatility to experiment with different kinds of strains of yeast for varied results in your craft beer.
Why you need a stir plate for yeast starter-
If you have decided to grow your own yeast and not buy your supplies from the stores, then using a stir plate is the most preferred method for promoting yeast growth for your homebrews. In most cases, a stir plate is a simple magnetic device for stirring liquids by spinning a small cylinder at varied and controlled speeds. They are normally used when one needs to stir liquids for a long period of time but don’t have to stand there all the time necessarily.
The same scenario applies when it comes to growing yeast for homebrews. To get the most quality from your yeast starter, continuous stirring is necessary to keep the yeast well aerated and to ensure that it doesn’t suffer from lack of oxygen since this will interfere with the quality. Since you can’t stir or shake your yeast starter all the time until it is ready for you to use, you need a starter to stir the yeast for you continuously.
With a stir plate for a yeast starter, a continuous motion will be created in the culture, and this will improve aeration and also push more CO2 out of the solution while the yeast remains suspended all the while. Consequently, the yeast will have a good amount of oxygen which they can use for fuel to ramp up their reproduction. The continuous motion will essentially double the number of the yeast cells in the starter, thus giving better quality and results compared to manually and intermittently stimulating the yeast on your own.
Now that you understand the importance of stir plates for yeast starters, here is a look at 10 best stir plates for yeast starters for those who have decided to make their own yeast for home brewing than relying on those from the stores.
Top10 stir plates
1. Scilogex - Circular-Top Digital Magnetic Hot Plate Stirrer
The Scoligex MS-H280 Pro is a digital stirring hot plate with a diameter of 5.3”. It features a stainless steel top coated with ceramic and with the ability to handle temperatures of between 25 and 280 degrees Celsius. With the ceramic-coated stainless steel plate, the plate is corrosion resistant and also cools down faster.
Dual LED displays show the digital temperatures as well as the stirring speeds, and all these can be adjusted as desired by the user. The stirring speed range for the hot plate is between 1000 and 1500rpm and users can set it to stir, heat, or stir while heating at the same time. Another notable feature of this hot plate stirrer is a hot top light that comes on when the temperature is above 50 degrees C. This is to ensure safe operation of the plate.
2. Apera Instruments - Magnetic Lab Stirrer/Stir Plate
The Apera Instruments 801 Magnetic Stirrer boasts of a powerful and reliable design as well as superior stirring capabilities. It boasts of two magnetic stir bars – 30mm and 25mm, with a speed range of 0 – 2300 rpm. The stirrer can easily hit maximum stirring volumes of 3000ml – an equivalent of 8 gallons. The stirrer is powered by a DC9V power adaptor, and it is ideal for both home and laboratory uses. Some of the other notable features of this stirrer include -
- It is a reliable and durable stirrer – guarantees longevity
- Can accommodate 2000ml flask
- A stirring capacity of up to 3000ml
- Smooth operations and a stirring top speed of 2300rpm
- It comes with a two-year warranty
It is important to observe that the stirrer will suffice for most of the homebrewing applications, but caution must be taken when it comes to viscous solutions because it is not very effective when it comes to stirring such solutions.
3. Northern Brewer - Maelstrom Stir Plate for Beer Yeast Propagation
Northern Brewer is not a stranger when it comes to the manufacture of home brewing equipment, and it is no wonder that their stirrer – Northern Brewer – Maelstrom Stir Plate, is one of the best stir plates for beer yeast propagation at home. It is considered as the most powerful and versatile home brewing stir plate you will find in the market today. Some of its outstanding features include -
- First industrial programmable stir plate – deviate from the manual models and enjoy the full power of using an industrial programmable stir plate.
- Five distinct speeds – the stir speeds range from 480 – 1440 rpm and can accommodate up to 5 gallons of yeast starters.
- Scheduling function – you can schedule the plate’s operations for up to 48 hours. This brings a lot of conveniences.
- Powerful magnets
- Has a translucent body to allow you to watch the agitation inside in the stirrer
- Measures 8” inches wide and 8.5” in length
4. Stir Starter- Magnetic Yeast Starter Plate
If you are looking for stir plates that are specifically designed with home brewing in mind, then this particular model is among the best you will find in the market today. Unlike the majority in the market today, this is not a multipurpose stir plate, but one that is specifically designed to help you to culture high cell counts of healthy yeasts so that you can achieve quick fermentation and have quality beer.
The stir plate is designed with two powerful knife button magnets inside a 12 VDC stir motor which ensures very effective stirring. The stirring action is controlled with the help of a precision voltage regulator that allows for easy adjustment of the speed.
With a limited rpm of the motor drives, you don’t have to worry about the motor “throwing” as is always the case with certain stirrers. The back of the case is made of a plastic case which measures 6” by 4” by 2”, and this makes it large enough to accommodate up to 2000ml conical flash comfortably.
The stirrer comes with a Teflon-coated stir bar that measures 1” by 5/16th of an inch. With the package also comes a keeper magnet that helps to lock the stir bar in place during the yeast pitching process which in turn helps the bar from coming into contact with the fermenter. With all these features, this stir plate has been designed with every feature you need to culture the best quality yeast for your home brewing needs.
5. Magnetic Stir Plate by SocalHomeBrew
The Magnetic Stir Plate by SocalHomeBrew may not be among the fanciest stir plates you will find in the market today, but it will get the job done as far as culturing your yeast is concerned. It features a simple design with a base large enough to accommodate up to 2000ml conical flasks, and it can stir up to 3000ml which translates to about 8 gallons. If you need simplicity and efficiency in a stirrer, then you have every reason to consider this magnetic stir plate by SocialHomeBrew.
6. Faithful 110v Hot Magnetic Stirrer
The Faithful 110v Hot Magnetic Stirrer features a simple, yet sleek design with every feature necessary for getting the best quality yeast culture. It features a large base upon which the stir plate is mounted, with easy to use knobs and controls to guide users in the stirring process. The notable top features worth mentioning include -
- A hot plate magnetic stirrer that measures 12cm by 12cm on the top plate.
- Maximum stirring temperature – the maximum stirring temperature for this stirrer is 380 degrees C, with a stirring capacity of 2000ml.
- Stirring speeds – the stirring speeds range between 100 – 2000 rpm. It also has the ability to heat and magnetically stir the contents of the flask all at the same time.
- Dual controls – to allow the adjustment of the hot plate heating temperature as well as the stirring speeds of the stirrer independently.
- Teflon-coated stirring bar – the unit comes with a Teflon-coated stirring bar as well as a support stand fitted with a thermometer holder which extends slightly above the hot plate surface.
It is a decent stirrer with versatile uses that are not just limited to home brewing alone.
7. Fristaden Lab SH-2 Laboratory Magnetic Stirrer Hot Plate
This is an analog magnetic stirrer hot plate that boasts of easy and independent controls of both the speed and stirring temperatures. It has a 180W heating power, and a maximum temperature of 350 degrees C. The plate is fitted with an integrated magnetic stirrer that can rotate between 100 – 600rpm, with a capacity of 2000ml. The other notable features include -
- Dual power controls – it has independent controls for speed and stirring temperatures
- Powerful heating – the hot plate is fitted with a 180W heating element with a temperature range of between 49 – 350 degrees C.
- Flexible speeds – the speed range is between 100 – 600 rpm and the strong stirrer’s magnetic field will ensure that the bar is firmly held in place.
- Large capacity – with a surface of 12cm by 12cm, the hot plate can hold up to 2000ml of volume.
8. Four E’s 5 Inch Digital Hot Plate Magnetic Stirrer
The Four E’s 5 Inch Digital Hot Plate Magnetic Stirrer is a ceramic coated plate, boasting of a sleek design with digital displays for both the rpms and the temperature. Though it is primarily designed for laboratory use, its reach feature also makes it suitable for culturing yeast for home brewing. Some of its most notable features include -
- Dual led digital display – this allows for easy reading of both the rpms and temperature
- Special plastic casing – the casing flame retardant and also high temperature resistant
- 3D Digital Wheel and automatic temperature sensor – the wheels are for adjusting the temperature and speed.
- Hot plate warning light – the warning light comes on at 500C to prevent accidental burns by the user.
9. Magnetic Stirrer Hot Plate by Torrey Hills Tech
This magnetic hot plate stirrer by Torrey Hills Tech has a compact design and boasts of an enviable temperature range of up to 3800C. Its core features include -
- The plates are made of stainless steel with porcelain enamel surfaces
- Has a separate safe circuit that automatically disconnects the heat when the temperatures hit beyond 3800C.
- Has a high magnetic adhesion to stop the stirring bar from escaping when the plate is in operations
- The product comes with two magnetic stir bars.
10. HYCC MX-3K Laboratory Magnetic Stirrer
The HYCC MX-3K Laboratory Magnetic Stirrer is one of the most economical stirrer models you will find in the market today. It has independent controls for stirring speeds and temperature, with a stirring capacity of 3000ml and stirring speeds of between 100 – 3000rpms. The electric voltage requirement for the stirrer is 220V.
The working table dimensions stand at 4.8”, with the overall dimension being 18.2cm x 13.2cm x 4.8cm. The magnetic stirrer is easy to use, easy to carry and versatile in applications, given that it can be used for culturing yeast for homebrews, scientific research applications, health applications, agriculture, and medicine among applications in other fields.